Monday, March 4, 2013


A small amount of Weiwei’s photography collection and videos are hosted in 3 floors of MIS [Museu da Imagem e do Som] in São Paulo. The show is like a biography and begins with self-portraits and daily-life photos of his time living in USA. It evolves to people on the streets, friends, riots, marches, police, performances, Chinese people and China.
As a visitor you should be barefoot or cover your shoes with a white cloth cap, just like those in hospital surgery rooms, and therefore you hear no sound of people steps. While walking and seeing the pictures on silent white walls I forgot about the medium photography and immersed in the subject. I saw myself walking in another place but in Brazil.Weiwei claims for freedom of speech and as an activist he says that stories and dreams can be a way of expression. He took photos of a particular building being built and being destroyed. This building meant to be a studio the government offered him but demolished right after the construction. His pictures show the photography as index which makes me think about the illusion power of an image. One sees a landscape and a week later sees another one in the very same place. You see both pictures and you think “was it really there or was an illusion? Was it a Photoshop collage”? According to his images the authorities of that country constantly move villages, towns and people. In this changeable architecture the photography might be one of the few ways to avoid oblivion, the loss of belonging feeling, the connection with material culture and memory.The artist show arrived in Brazil almost in the same week as the Cuban journalist and blogger Yoani Sanchez. I saw something in common between the artist and the journalist; they are both concerned about the people of their country. Is this a positive feature of a socialist society? Maybe... I think we Brazilian have some lesson to learn from these visitors and their gestures anyway.Ah! It’s not allowed to take pictures of his photos. The only way I can prove I was there are these images I scanned and “Photoshoped”. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

coming back

After 30 days far from home a different perspective came through when I look to a long known place. A sight from distance may be the best way to understand one’s home town. This is really good.
The time I’ve spent alone made me think in my life, my work and my manners to get along with the world of art. I was supposed to walk around to see a lot of things and less art. Then I saw people. The residency in NY made me closer to the streets and so on to that layer of culture. The feeling of moving with the crowd left something about movement, repetition and life. I start to believe that sometimes people could have more to tell me than a museum. In this wandering time I’ve taken more lessons from Kandinsky than from any other contemporary painter.
But I also had the strongest feeling about art I ever had in my life. Dia Beacon Museum was like an epiphany. Standing up near Michael Heizer’s holes made me see how far the artist can push the limits of reflection. The presence of Serra’s work made me feel fragile as a human being can be. Sol Lewitt’s walls look like an obstinate lace of love and patience and took me a long while to get away.
When I think in my own artistic expression a wish for freedom runs in my spine, some of the old fences seem smaller. A wish to try new things comes as a new beginning. The power of my experience is refreshed every time I look at the pictures taken in this trip. My body still feels a bit of that energy lived in those 30 days. How can a person keep a feeling? Definitely the image is a way to freeze the present. An image turns an absence into a presence and is connected to death, would say Hans Belting. The present time was brief and lasted an instant when I pressed the camera’s obturator. I don’t know what I’m doing next but I still have a lot of thinking about my obsession for images. Maybe I have to stop thinking and feel more with my eyes closed; just like dreaming a kid dream...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Making Room

Among lost objects, furniture, empty rooms, empty boxes and empty safes, a troupe is working. Feeling the fake wind of a huge fan and drinking corn whiskey people raise a small and colorful stage’s curtain. We are in the underground of an imposing building in Wall Street. The show is about to start!
Nearby while I’m sitting with other spectators a lady wearing a hat comes in and tells a story of her theater built by digging up the earth at the bottom of a bar. Few minutes later a performance with a blue atmosphere begins. I see anything unreal on the scenario that reminds me of Bob Wilson’s plays. It reminds me my own fears too.Some artworks are exhibited in the basement of a “once upon a time” factory. A photograph is fixed to the wall beside rests of an engine. Low ceiling, brick walls and layers of former activities lye on the floor. I feel a kind of freedom of this people who try new things and to lose some esthetic rules; either from upper class or bourgeois. I can actually see the complexity when the layers of the past are left to join the present to have fun together. I think it also points to a constant move. I went to a work in progress building and I’m sure that this is the ground for a creation. I hope this spirit be kept alive and kicking and marketing and commercial business free.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I can hear different languages spoken in the streets and still the spoken english with many kinds of accents. I hear fast or slow tongues, open vowels or not, small tune variation or huge, low and sibilant whispers or an unexpected throaty excuse-me. Maybe I listen a southern accent in a subway speech and definitely incomprehensible syllables coming from the mouth of some kid. I’m sitting in a bench in front of a deli and I hear old lady’s long chatting beside me. One lady’s talking is full of exclamations and I catch lost phrases about relationship. In the corner of the other street I hear a familiar vocabulary.

As I walk slowly in the streets capturing as much as I can with my eyes and ears, I listen monologues with or without earplugs; people walking and complaining to themselves or mad at someone who I can see. I do talk to myself in loud voice once in a while but I keep walking and suddenly I’m lost…
I have to stop and ask some of those citizens for direction to the Brooklyn subway or Washington Avenue. Then I'm surprised for hearing my own voice an accent among all those sounds. I think to myself: this is New York and I am here... I’m just one more beat in this club.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Loosing subject

After 2 weeks in this city I felt a conflict between belonging or not, being part of the city or just being a passenger. I enjoy staying in the flat doing things to myself as I was in my own house. I read, I go to gym and sleep as much as I want. I feel very comfortable, good and calm alone having so much time to myself but I also feel lonely. Getting out of the flat is like jumping into another world starting up from the corridor until elevator; there is always someone who obviously was not born here. Inside the elevator some people smile, some say a discrete hi but some just keep the eyes to the buttons or the door. Get in such a small room like an elevator is an instant intimacy which some of us just can’t manage. Last week I met twice a lady who was getting repair in her party dress for the marriage of her daughter. Yesterday she told me the wedding was just fine!

It seems that every time I go to the streets something new is going on. The more I pace to watch my surrounding the more I notice unseen details. I ’m not sure but I think I may be reacting with some kind of camouflage instinct. I catch myself trying to wear in the same way people do, paint my nails with the same colors suiting the colorful summer clothes. I even tried to speak faster but the result was a messs.

I was told this residency was intended to work as a break in the artist work but it’s so hard to leave home the huge luggage one carries in his head. But I think something is happening; I already see things from outside myself and maybe, who knows I could stop fighting myself and be easy going. Just like a walking on the streets… relaxed but with attention and all my senses on.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Some small parks narrowed by grayish buildings, populated by green, flowers, squirrels, birds, dogs, couples and parents. I see kisses and hugs, smiles, laughing and a child's plastic toy spread over the sand or the grass. I see garbage on the streets, a rat walking downtown on the rail but I can see flowers beds by the streets.

... I scent some flower surrounding Battery Place...

In this summer afternoon I feel a warming sun on my neck and a fresh breeze as I'm sitting
with my feet onto the grass at Battery Park. I'm enjoying a peaceful waterfront view listening the wind, the seagulls and the sails.